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The Sales Evangelist

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast





Sometimes small problems grow into much bigger problems, and without emotional intelligence to help you address misunderstandings, these problems can affect your relationships with prospects and clients.

Have you ever met up with a friend who suddenly became upset but, to you, the thing they were upset about wasn’t a huge problem? When you react, it becomes something bigger, and before you know it – you are arguing with each other without really knowing what you are even arguing about?!

You can have similar situations with a prospect. The client loses interest, or maybe, becomes so upset they no longer want to do business with you ever again.

What happened? Why does it go wrong? The answer: Emotional intelligence.

These situations affect both sellers and buyers, so our TSE Certified Sales Training Program will help you identify these problems before they escalate.

The TSE Certified Sales Training Program is designed to help sellers at every level, from new sellers to seasoned professionals. The course has three main sections of four modules each. Tackle each section on your own or participate in a group. [01:58]

Surface-level problems

I was running a meeting last week when one of the committee members had an issue outside the topic we were discussing. The challenge she proposed began to derail the entire meeting.

What was I to do?

I realized that it was a surface-level problem rather than a true issue. We decided, therefore, to have a one-on-one discussion to address it instead.

Turns out, there was so much more she wanted to talk about than what was originally mentioned during the meeting. If I had entertained the issue during the meeting, it would have derailed the entire event for the entire group.

No money was involved, but imagine a similar scenario when working with a client. A client or prospect presents you with a surface-level problem. Then, because of a lack of emotional intelligence, people focus on that problem instead of the underlying issue.

Emotional intelligence

Suppose your client says they will not renew their contract. They might be upset because the project was late. Perhaps they are downsizing. Or maybe they no longer have the budget for it.

Those are not the true issues.

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, to control, and to express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.


In Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, empathy is defined as seeking first to understand, then to be understood.

Back to the client who is no longer interested, we have to dig deeper to find out the true reason for their decision.

Someone with a high level of emotional intelligence is able to see things from the prospect’s perspective. Rather than take the lack of interest as something personal, they are able to investigate and realize the core issue instead.

It’s tempting to think about how the decision affects me:

  • What did I do wrong?
  • How will this affect my commission?

Instead, as the seller, we need to think about the buyer.

  • What will happen to the buyer?
  • Why did he change his mind?
  • Is this the real issue?
  • What caused him to feel upset or frustrated?
  • What changed?

It could be that the buyer didn’t get their second round of funding and now has to do some trimming. The service you provide is still important to them but it is not mission critical to the function of their organization.

That is something, as a seller, that you would want to know.

When you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and seek to understand, you may find other ways to be of assistance.

Is there something else you can do? Is there another value that you can bring? Maybe you can introduce them to someone else in the industry.

Bring value

When you focus on being helpful instead of on selling your product or service, you have attained a high level of emotional intelligence.

Recognize that it is not about you, or your bottom line. It is about serving your client.

People sometimes lash out or seem angry. Perhaps they had a bad morning or an argument with their spouse. Maybe that team member who annoys you so badly is having trouble paying his bills.

Your job is to not react to surface level issues. Your job is to understand the true source of the problem so that you help to find a solution.

Your job is to bring value to the situation.

Don’t simply react to the emotions. Be a problem solver instead.

Emotional intelligence is something you can build on. It will help you tremendously in the early stages of the sales process.

Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Connect on a human level and realize that your client is not just the CEO or the marketing director. He is a human being with goals. When you recognize that, you will create a foundation of trust.

Then, if something does change, he will be willing to discuss the true issues with you. It will also help you guide your buyers toward a close.

Try not to react to difficult situations. Seek first to understand. Remember that there are two sides to every situation: the side they let us see and the side they don’t want us to see.

Your job is to identify the real reason for the situation so that you can help provide solutions.

Don’t react to surface-level problems. Dig a little deeper.

“Emotional Intelligence” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

They are offering a 14-day free trial, and half off your subscription when you use the code Donald at checkout.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

About the Author The Sales Evangelist

Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.

Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.

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